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Kensington man found guilty in fatal beating outside bar

Jacob Larson

ALEXANDRIA, Minn. — After nearly six hours of deliberation, a 12-person jury found Jacob Larson guilty of first-degree manslaughter and aiding and abetting first-degree manslaughter, both felony-level charges, on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

They also found him guilty of fifth-degree assault, and aiding and abetting fifth-degree assault, which are both misdemeanors.

Larson, 34, of Kensington, was on trial after he was charged in the beating of Steven “Beaver” Hlinsky outside the Muddy Boot bar in Forada in May 2018. Hlinsky died eight days later, on May 13.

Larson was found not guilty of two counts — second-degree murder and aiding and abetting second-degree murder.

He was immediately remanded into custody.

Troy Traut, a co-defendant in the case, was originally charged with the same six offenses. However, on June 6, 2019, in Douglas County District Court, he pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor fifth-degree assault charge.

As part of the deal that was reached, Traut agreed to testify against Jacob Larson. In addition, the five other charges against Traut were dropped.

After the verdicts were read, Larson looked back at his family and friends who had been sitting in the courtroom during his five-day trial. No words were spoken between them. He looked back at them one more time before he was escorted away.

As Larson’s family was escorted out of the courtroom, family and friends of the victim, including his daughter, Abby Hlinsky and his mother, Dorothy Hlinsky, spoke with the prosecuting attorney, Chad Larson. Other family members thanked Chad Larson and one shook his hand, thanking him for his work on the case.

Chad Larson told the family that Jacob Larson should be in jail until his sentencing.

Hlinsky’s family is expected to comment about the verdict at a later time.

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